November 29, 2008



A beautiful day for a hunt. It had rained a couple days before and the Santa Ana winds will pickup tomorrow, but today it is clear and bright and in the low 80s.


I had found this spot for use in the AllDay hunt I did a couple years ago that terminated at my daughters place in Hemet for a barbeque. But on the Friday before the hunt a brush fire closed the access and so I used plan B and it was a good hunt. But this spot was so nasty.


I checked it out and the access road to the unmapped powerline road was gated. It wasn’t before. I was very upset because this spot was nasty.


It was nasty because it is a range of hills about 2000 ft high that is 5 miles x 5 miles and has no paved roads but has a myriad of dirt roads. None of all these unmapped dirt roads seemed to connect to the powerline road. But now it too was inaccessible. Secondly the site for the transmitter could see the tops of all of the large mountains around Southern California but none of the flat lands where paved roads are available. So all of your directional signals would be coming from these peaks and not from the transmitter, even on the sidelobes of the antenna. A very nasty site. I had to find a way in there.


I did a dirty trick. I used Google Earth and made a map (13 pages) of all of the dirt roads and plotted a course that would connect to the powerline road. With map in hand I drove the course last Tuesday and I got through in 2 wheel drive although some of the “connector” roads were very ugly. I mean VERY ugly. This road was of decomposed granite and had great traction when dry, but VERY slippery when wet. It was dry (mostly).


For those who care, the site was in the southeastern end of the badlands, between the 60 FWY on the North, Gilman Springs Road on the south, Lambs Canyon on the East and Jack Rabbit Road on the west. The original (now gated) access was off of Gilman Springs Road but the new access was from Davis Mountain west of Beaumont and just south of  the 60 FWY.

N33 53.208 W117 0.586.


The original plan was to run my 40 Watt T7 transmitter into a 10 el Horizontal beam pointed at Mt. Baldy. This would have given a Baldy bounce at the start and no signal from about San Bernardino east. And maybe none in Beaumont. If none in Beaumont then they would eventually travel south on Hwy 79 (Lambs Canyon) and still be getting bounces from all over into San Jacinto/Hemet. In any event figuring out where it was would not be easy and getting there even harder. But at 9:00AM disaster struck. The 40 watt transmitter wouldn’t. It was on 174 MHz for some reason. Got that straightened out and the PicCon wouldn’t work. I had no way to program it at the site. Plan B time again…


My backup transmitter T9, is a 1 watt AF6O box that came on fine but was too weak to make the Baldy bounce (They couldn’t hear it at all). I shifted the antenna for a bounce off of San Gorgonio and they couldn’t hear that either. Bad news. I called them on the Cell phone and told them to go east on the 60 FWY and if they didn’t hear anything by Palm Springs to turn around. As this was a very bad thing to have no signal at the start, I left the beam on San Gorgonio which goes right over Beaumont and the sneaky Davis mountain. As it turns out, the bounces were still most confusing although they did get on to Davis Mountain as a possible way in before it got dark.


We had two hunters. It was a shame that more didn’t come as it was a most challenging and fun hunt. Deryl had a very stretching experience with his electric Ford on the very very nasty road and Bob found several  new ways to get lost (no, he didn’t get all the way to Big Bear). I hope they write of their experiences. We all had a nice Dinner in Beaumont at Denny’s


Bob, N6ZHZ     123.6 miles     5:29       Bad road            WINNER


Deryl, N6AIN   145.6 miles     5:29       Really Bad Road


Be sure to see the pictures on the photo page